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XM Teams with MLB, Launches Baseball Channel

Washington — Major League Baseball and XM Satellite Radio announced an 11-year, $650 million agreement allowing XM to broadcast every Major League Baseball team, beginning with the 2005 regular season.

XM said it will also broadcast select games in Spanish and that it will create an MLB radio channel offering original content and classic MLB game broadcasts.

XM will have rights to use the Major League Baseball (MLB) silhouetted batter logo and the logos of the 30 MLB teams.

XM’s president and CEO Hugh Panero and baseball commissioner Bud Selig both proclaimed that radio has played an important role in the history of baseball and is a natural fit for satellite radio. Panero said, “There are over 2,400 games played over seven or eight months and these games are available at different times across the country, basically every time of day.So if you are looking for a breadth of content this it.The sport is reaching heights it has not before.”

Approximately 73 million people attended MLB baseball games this year, said the MLB.

Panero said a poll of XM subscribers showed that 15 percent asked for baseball broadcasting.

The deal follows an agreement between Sirius and the NFL where Sirius began broadcasting NFL games in August and offers a 24/7 football channel.

News of the XM and MLB announcement led to a 6 percent increase in XM shares, to $30.74, before the opening bell today, while Sirius shares fell 1 percent to $3.75, according to Reuters.